Where: 231A Victoria Street Darlinghurst 2010
Opening Hours: Mon - Wed 5pm - 12am, Thu 5pm - 3am, Fri - Sun 12pm - 3am
Phone: 02 9358 6116
There's something a little ol' timey about The Passage. It's intimate without being cute, antique without being themed. This long, slim space - decked out with brown leather, marble tables, and crisp black and white artworks by local designers Babëkuhl - is a truly unique offering on the Sydney scene.
The drinks themselves are nothing to sniff at. Despite the enviable, hand picked wine list and an offering of the best boutique beers, it's the tailor made cocktail menu, which varies with the seasons, that really shines. Professor Plum ($16) is a sweet and sour delight of mascerated plums, pisco and lemon juice, while Machine Gun Jubblies ($17) is a more masculine offering, featuring spiced rum, maple syrup, macadamia nut butter and a fresh espresso, all served in a cappuccino cup. For the brave, I'd recommend the (Pork) Margarita ($18): aside from its potential to go viral, it's surprisingly delicious. This blends house infused smoked speck tequila with Memphis Barbeque bitters, dripped out of a brown bottle, and citrus, served in a glass dipped in pork crackling chili salt.
The tapas is also an excellent option. The night I popped in, the new winter menu had just begun. I enjoyed the Whale Ale Battered Barra with Hand Cut Chips, served on a bed of dill ($22), delicious with a side of Gem Squash and Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta and Hazelnuts ($13). Oldies but goodies include the Stuffed Zucchini Flowers with Goats' Cheese and Truffle Honey ($18), and the 'Pop Corn' Chicken with Melted Cord ($11), which is free range, hormone and chemical free. Serves for most options are generous - this is definitely food best shared.
In line with the quality local theme these lads have going on, there's a feature almost every night of the week. Mondays is an Oyster Bar, with varying weekly picks, Tuesdays all food is half price (bargain!) and Wednesdays are Flight Night for wine tasting. Plus, we hear that Soul Food is soon to come on Thursdays, with live soul and 'soul-inspired' food and drink options.
Delicious food, unique drinks, and barmen who will be happy to tell you all about it. The only real drawback is this tiny place's popularity, particularly on weekends. If you're keen for tapas, be certain to book ahead.
Images: courtesy of The Passage
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